At 7:31 a.m. Friday, the Sheboygan Fire Department responded to the report of a vehicle fire in the vicinity of North Fifth Street and Ontario Avenue. A multi-unit response was dispatched. The first arriving Engine Company, Engine No. 1, encountered a fully involved van resting on a front lawn steps of 1020 N. Fifth St. The driver had a medical issue and lost control of his vehicle.
Firefighters immediately noticed, through the heavy smoke, that a person was in the driver’s seat of the burning vehicle. The gasoline tank had ruptured from jumping the curb and was ignited by the rotating front tires of the vehicle, which rested up against the concrete steps in the front yard. Captain Irish and Fire Equipment Operator Schubert approached the fully involved van and broke out two windows so they could reach in and unlock the doors.
Meanwhile, the next arriving Engine, Engine No. 3, advanced a hose line and began extinguishing the fire. This took place while the driver was being freed from the vehicle by Engine No. 1 personnel and a Sheboygan Police Officer.
The driver’s seat belt had to be released and his hand pried off the steering wheel, which he was gripping tightly due to his medical condition. These factors, as well as the ignited gasoline at their feet, made his removal even difficult. The vehicle was extinguished and the driver was transported to the hospital by City of Sheboygan Med 1. The driver of vehicle received third degree burns.
The vehicle was totaled, with about $7,000 damage.